School funding in jeopardy following SB1 veto - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

School funding in jeopardy following SB1 veto

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WSIL -- Senate Bill 1 is back in the general assembly following Governor Rauner's amendatory veto Tuesday.

With the governor's amendatory veto of Illinois school funding bill, the general assembly can take two different actions.

It could override the veto, causing the original bill to pass, or it could pass the governor's recommendations, which includes stripping funding to Chicago's pension.

Either action requires a three-fifths majority in both chambers.

If neither action takes place within 15 days, SB1 will die and a new bill will need to be considered.

At the moment, there is no way for state money to be distributed to schools.

John Jackson, professor at the Paul Simon Public Policy institute, says he doesn't think there will be any significant action on SB1 during the allotted 15 days.

"This is a historic piece of legislation," Jackson said, "and it's now in considerable jeopardy."

He says there is almost no chance the legislature passes Rauner's amended bill, and that it will be very hard for Democrats to get enough Republicans on board to overturn the veto.

"My guess is they will maybe find one or two Republicans but not enough," he said.

Right now school districts across Illinois have the money to open in the coming weeks, but only for a few months.

Bill Curtin is an English teacher at Carbondale Community High school and for the past year has been a Policy Fellow at Teach Plus Illinois, advocating for SB 1.

"I'm pretty concerned right now," Curtin said. "It seems we have a way in Illinois of pulling crisis from the jaws of victory and it seems like that's happened here again."

He says that action on school funding can't happen soon enough.

"They may have 15 days to act on this veto, but school starts for us in a week and a half," he said. "We don't have 15 days."

Jackson says he's not confident anything will happen before schools start, but thinks political pressure will eventually force some kind of action as the threat of school closures become a reality midway through the fall.

"They've got to have some state funds and they've got to have them soon," Jackson said. "The general assembly and the governor can't afford for these schools to start shutting down."

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